New Project Uses Art to Stop Violence in Caracas Slums

What would you do if you grew up in violence? In Caracas, Venezuela there were 24,000 deaths by guns last year. One young Venezuelan girl is now working hand-in-hand with some of the most violent perpetrators using different weapons — art and photography. Why? To bring about peaceful change.

Culture Circles is a participatory art project to transform armed violence in the slums of Caracas by working with young victims and perpetrators.

The one year project now plans to offer an 8-week arts-based workshop consisting of photography, writing, and drawing. Participants also act out fears, dreams, hopes, and their own story about their reality. Culture Circles (Circulosdecultura) is a unique grass roots movement involving youth (ages 10–25). All participants are either victims or perpetrators of armed violence in the slums. The pilot projects have shown promising results. Now it’s time to expand, which is why Culture Circles needs your help. Your donations via their Indiegogo campaign will help bring about social change. The results to date are impressive. Many participants are choosing to leave the violence in the past and have found confidence through the project.

Culture Circles uses its unique 8-week projects to curb violence at the source. This is being done by working directly with and engaging the perpetrators in the slums. Therapists and photographers work together to help participants tell their story. “We are using art to make voices peaceful. Participants feel engaged and tell their story through art.”, explains project leader Diana Rangel. It is her dream that art can spark social change. In having victims and perpetrators of armed violence tell the story — they will prevent it and stop it. But the organizers can’t do it alone. As she explains, “We are a group of artists, photographers and expressive art therapists, and we have a dream… but without you we are just a bunch of dreamers trying to make a difference in the slums.” 

Her hope is to raise enough via the Indiegogo campaign to expand to over 100 participants and more communities (there are three currently). Using the visual arts, photography, theatre and/or poetry, participants tell their stories of social change within themselves and within their communities. The project uses methods from “the Expressive Arts Therapies, participatory art, and photovoice techniques” in order to explore ways of helping young people discover alternatives to violence as a way of life. At the end of each workshop, the group’s art is displayed in a public exhibition within their community. Culture Circles also plans to restore public spaces in the slums and promote participatory art from other community members.

The group presents its findings at the end of this year in a large exhibition in Caracas — with participation of all the groups from all the communities attending. Donate what you can, there are perks from $10 up. Even if you can’t donate, just share the links with friends and family around the world. Help end the violence.

For more information please visit Culture Circles (Circulosdecultura) CampaignFacebook and Twitter

Media Contact
Company Name: Culture Circles
Contact Person: DIANA RANGEL
Email: Send Email
Country: United States